Twin institutes in Sivakasi: imparting print education

Known across the world for its printing industry with the second largest number of offset printing machines in the world, next to Gutenberg (Germany), Sivakasi is also one of the pioneer cities imparting print education. The twin institutes - Sivakasi Institute of Printing Technology (SIPT) and Arasan Ganesan Polytechnic College (AGPC) – are playing vital role in nurturing technicians and supervisory staff for a large number of printing establishments, mushrooming in and around the area of Sivakasi, popularly called as ‘Kutty Japan’ in South India. Here is a brief.

Sivakasi Institute of Printing Technology (SIPT)

Instituted in the year 1977 by the Sivakasi Master Printers’ Association (SMPA) with the name ‘Graphics Arts School’, Sivakasi Institute of Printing Technology (SIPT) initially offered certificate course in ‘printing technology’ only. Government of Madras accorded affiliation for conducting certificate course in ‘photo engraving and camera operation’, ‘lithographic printing,’ lithographic platemaking’, ‘hand composition’ and ‘proof reading’. Later, in the academic year 1983-84, ‘diploma in printing technology’ was introduced and the name of the institute was changed as SPMA’s Sivakasi Institute of Printing Technology.

To promote and to protect the printing units in the city, the Sivakasi Master Printers’ Association was established in 1948. Members of the association felt the need for skilled workers such as artist, plate makers, printers and computer operators, and to train these workers, Graphics Arts School was established. Initially the institute was intended for training students in various printing process and now the scope and vision of SIPT have been widened to all disciplines of technology including the ‘packaging technology’.

The institute was shifted to a new campus at Meenakshipuram in the year 2007 comprising about 24.3 acre space having numerous units of buildings and good infrastructure like vast class rooms, laboratories for all branches, workshops, computer centers, staff rooms, etc of totaling about 10,000 sq m area.

The latest and sophisticated machines were installed in this new location of the institute which include: flat-bed colour scanner, horizontal process camera, Hamada mini offset machine, Polygraph single colour machine, two colour flexography machine, semiautomatic cutting machine, Proteck auto plate processor, single colour gravure machine, thermal lamination machine, DuPont flexo plate exposure and processor, etc. The laboratories and workshops are fully equipped with the latest and best equipments, and are spacious and designed to provide a natural environment for study and stimulate the inherent creativity of the students.

The institute also conducts short term basic and advanced technical courses during holidays at nominal rates, and staff training programme for strengthening staff-student relationships. The placements of students have never been an issue, as many companies inerested in getting passing out students offer opportunities regularly. The companies who recently visited the institute for campus interviews include: ITC, Chennai; Protrol Process Control Instrumentation Pvt Ltd, Bangalore; AutoPrint Machinery Pvt Ltd, Coimbatore; Srinivas Fine Arts Ltd, Standard Press (India) Pvt Ltd, Majestic Offset Printers, Sel Jegat Printers Pvt Ltd, Jothi Art Calendar, Coronation Security Printers Pvt Ltd and Madan Cards from Sivakasi.

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